Monday 28 November 2022

Top Antibiotics That Treat Infection

 Image: L.Weakley

Imagine how difficult life would be without antibiotics. Since the early years of the 20th century, highly effective pharmaceutical antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but archeological evidence indicates that physicians in the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China treated microbial infections with mold. Ever since Alexander Fleming pioneered the use of therapeutic penicillin in the late 1920s, the development of antibiotics has advanced very significantly, but this is a changing field because many bacterial pathogens evolve and mutate in order to survive antibiotic treatments. With all this in mind, let's take a look at the main antibiotic classes and how they treat infections.

By Lizzie Weakley


These antibiotics were prominently used during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic to treat patients whose weakened immune systems allowed bacterial pulmonary infections to develop. Unfortunately, it appears that certain bacterial families linked to respiratory disease are becoming resistant to macrolides.




Since the release of tetracycline in the 1950s, this antibiotic class has become known as the "Swiss Army knife of antibiotics." Tetracycline can be used to treat a wide range of microbe species, and it can alleviate many conditions that include urinary tract infections and even some types of dermatitis. In recent decades, this antibiotic has been reformulated to treat sexually transmitted infections that have evolved through various mutations.



This is the grandfather of modern antibiotics, and one of most significant medical advances of the previous century. The numerous derivatives of penicillin include ampicillin trihydrate, a suspension formula that is commonly used by veterinarians to treat severe staphylococcal infections. Penicillin is still used as part of oral surgery procedures that have a greater risk of infection.



This is an advanced class of antibiotics that has come a long way since the days of penicillin. The advantage of cephalosporin medications is that they rarely provide provoke allergic reactions or strong side effects. Quite a few infections can be controlled with this antibiotic class, which can also be formulated at hospitals for specific conditions.



This type of antibiotic medication is only administered under close medical supervision, and it is mostly used to treat patients whose options are diminished because of underlying chronic conditions. When cancer patients go through chemotherapy, fluoroquinolone is sometimes prescribed when there is a strong risk of bacterial infection.


It should be noted that the antibiotic classes listed above share an important common denominator: They inhibit the spread of bacteria within patients, thus allowing the immune system to handle a lower pathogen load.


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